Israeli strikes on Syria targets cap week of tensions

Israel’s air drive struck targets in Syria on Sunday, after militants within the neighbouring nation fired rockets in the direction of Israel, capping every week of tensions ignited by a police raid at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque.

The most recent burst of violence added to fears of a broader escalation. It adopted a tense 48 hours during which Israel bombed southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip in response to rocket hearth, and twin assaults in Israel and the occupied West Financial institution that killed two British-Israelis and an Italian vacationer.

Israel’s navy mentioned it hit a number of targets in Syria within the early hours of Sunday, together with rocket launchers, navy radar methods, artillery posts and a Syrian military compound.

It launched the strikes after six rockets have been fired from Syria in the direction of Israel, setting off sirens within the Golan Heights, which Israel seized from Syria in 1967, and annexed in 1981 in a transfer not recognised by many of the worldwide neighborhood. One rocket was intercepted, and two fell on open floor.

Arabic media mentioned a Palestinian militant group in Syria had claimed duty for the rocket hearth.

Syria’s Sana state information company mentioned the Israeli strikes focused areas within the south of the nation and had brought about “some materials harm”. There have been no quick studies of casualties.

The most recent cycle of violence started after Israeli police raided the al-Aqsa mosque on consecutive nights final week to take away Palestinians making an attempt to stay within the compound, recognized to Jews because the Temple Mount.

Footage of closely armed Israeli forces beating Palestinians within the mosque with rifle butts and batons sparked outrage within the Arab world. On Thursday, militants in Lebanon fired 34 rockets at Israel, the largest barrage from the nation since Israel and the Iran-backed group Hizbollah fought a 34-day battle in 2006, sparking retaliatory strikes by Israel.

The cross-border alternate ended with out fatalities. However hours later, two Israeli sisters have been killed, and their mom was left preventing for her life after their automotive got here underneath hearth close to a Jewish settlement within the West Financial institution.

Then on Friday night time, an Italian vacationer was killed and 5 others have been injured when a automotive ploughed into pedestrians on a cycle path close to the seashore in Tel Aviv. Police recognized the driving force, who was shot useless on the scene, as a 45-year-old from Kfar Qassem, an Arab city 20km from Tel Aviv.

The multi-front violence follows a 12 months of mounting tensions within the West Financial institution, during which Israeli forces have killed greater than 250 Palestinians, and Palestinians have killed greater than 40 Israelis, and is a critical problem for Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline authorities, during which ultranationalists maintain a number of key safety posts.

On Friday, the federal government ordered the military to spice up forces on Israel’s borders with Lebanon and Gaza and mobilise reserves, and the nation’s police commissioner urged all residents with gun licences to hold weapons.

Police numbers have been boosted in Jerusalem, the place tensions stay excessive because the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the Jewish Passover pageant overlap, and folks from each faiths converge on holy websites within the Previous Metropolis.

The al-Aqsa compound, the third holiest website in Islam and the holiest in Judaism, is among the most delicate locations within the Israeli-Palestinian battle. Clashes there have sparked broader conflagrations, together with an 11-day battle between Israel and militants in Gaza two years in the past.

Israel has occupied the West Financial institution and East Jerusalem, together with the Previous Metropolis, the place the al-Aqsa compound is situated, since 1967.

Underneath the so-called establishment settlement, each Muslims and non-Muslims can go to the hilltop website, however solely Muslims are allowed to hope there. Lately, nevertheless, Jewish teams have additionally prayed there, stoking nervousness amongst Muslims that the established order is being eroded. Netanyahu has insisted it won’t be modified.

On Saturday night time, a big group of Palestinians stayed in al-Aqsa. However in contrast to earlier within the week, Israeli police didn’t try and take away them by drive. On Sunday, a priestly blessing on the Western Wall — which sits under the al-Aqsa compound and is the holiest place Jews can pray — attended by 1000’s of Jewish trustworthy started with out main incident.

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